Leopard caged
A caged leopard in Assam's Dibrugarh district. Image crdit - Northeast Now

The fourth leopard was caged within one month at Dikom tea estate in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Wednesday night.

According to locals, in the past month, they have spotted many leopards in the tea garden area.

“Our women folks fear to go out for work in the tea garden due to the presence of leopards in the garden area. We have complained about the presence of a large number of leopards in the tea estate,” said a worker.

Dibrugarh forest ranger Nareswar Das said, “Around 7 am, the locals of Dikom tea estate informed us that a leopard was caged in the tea estate.”

Also read: Assam: Leopard captured at Dikom tea estate

“We sent a team to the tea estate for the rescue of the leopard. After reaching the spot, the team examined the leopard and later released it in the Dehing Patkai reserve forest,” forest official Das said.

Das added, “We have caged four leopards in the same area in less than one month and we successfully released the animals in Dehing Patkai reserve forest. The locals of the tea estate informed us about the presence of leopards in the tea estate and we laid the trap.”

According to experts, the man-animal conflict has been on the rise as the animal habitats continue to be shrinking because of encroachment in the forest areas.

The animals have been compelled to come out to the human habitats in search of food.

Sighting of leopards in tea garden areas is common as during daylight they take rest in branches of trees.

Meanwhile, four people were injured after a full-grown leopard attacked them at Sasoni in Naharkatia under Dibrugarh district on Wednesday night.

Two of them received severe injuries and were rushed to Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) for treatment.

After the incident, the forest department laid a trap to cage the leopard.

The injured have been identified as Numol Dutta, Ranjan Mantri, Tankeswar Saikia, and Motilal Mura.

“We have been passing sleepless nights for the last several days. The leopard attacked the people when they were going home and disappeared in the jungle. We have complained to the forest department about the presence of a leopard in our locality. But they have failed to cage it,” said a resident of Sasoni.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com